Stairwell Makeover Part I, DIY Board & Batten


Happy Sunday night everyone! I hope you are are relaxing, I know I am!

I wanted to take some time to share with you all one of the most gratifying and impacting DIY projects that I’ve done in our home. The stairwell in our home was in really bad shape. Besides just being plain creepy and looking as if it belonged on an episode of SVU the plaster in the stairwell was patchy and uneven. The lighting situation was just dim and the floor was pretty scuffed and was stained an awful gold/orangey color.




Please don’t judge my nasty floor.


A while ago I pinned this picture from Lonny Magazine and I was immediately inspired to recreate something similar for our stairwell. I think that most of my decorating choices are inspired by the east coast and the beach houses that inhabit it. Growing up, some of my best memories were spent in those beach houses and even though I live in landlocked Kansas I can have grasscloth in my house and feel that much closer to the beach. And that my friends, brings me to my next point…GRASSCLOTH!

I love grasscloth, and I’ve noticed that it has made quite the comeback. After doing some research and price checking I decided that in our stairwell it would be most cost effective for us to hang faux grasscloth in our stairwell.  With a difference of $50 per roll between real and faux grasscloth the amount of surface area in the stairwell + the fact that we really don’t bank that much time in the stairwell led me to conclude that it would be much more advantageous to use faux. I chose Allen + Roth  brand grasscloth from Lowes. Before I settled on a specific brand I read some reviews online and two different bloggers had used this exact grasscloth and it looked amazing – I was sold!


I marked the wall where I wanted the grasscloth to stop and the board and batten to begin. Putting the wallpaper up was actually much easier than I had anticipated. This was the first time I ever put up wall paper and I didn’t even follow the directions, but it turned out great. Instead of submerging the wallpaper I used a spray bottle of water to activate the glue.


I then began putting up my board and batten, if you’ve been around the home decor section of Pinterest very long you know this has become the new “thing”. What I love about both the grasscloth and the board and batten is that they camouflage how poor looking the plaster walls in the stairwell are. The walls are just really patchy and they are pretty uneven. The texture of the grasscloth does a really great job of covering imperfections in walls.
After all of my MDF trim was glued and nailed in place I began patching walls and caulking the seams.
I then striped, stained and sealed the floors. Then I finished off the walls with primer and paint.
I also stained the handrail to match the floor.
You can also pop over to my post about how I switched out that ugly sconce at the top of the stairs into this pretty nautical light.
Once again the floor is filthy, don’t judge. The longest part of the project was all of the touch ups. Between caulking and painting I thought I was NEVER going to be finished!
I LOVE the way the stairwell turned out. The white board and batten perfectly hides the uneven walls and adds so much reflective brightness to the space.
I’ve been adding to the gallery over time. I’m sure I’ll keep adding until there is no space left at all!

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